Industry's Influence: a new playlist by Black Hole Recordings
First up: Hugo de Graaf.
In the early years of the new millennium 2000 he began as the graphic designer for Black Hole Recordings including all its sub labels, creating practically every known vinyl-, CD- and CD single cover that’s currently in the Black Hole Recordings catalogue. His personal interest in electronic dance later on also got him several remix assignments for tracks like To The Floor by Andy Duguid, Sine Language by the Crystal Method Featuring LMFAO and it also led to his own productions under the moniker of Dunugoz vs Tha Roofas releasing such hit singles as Anita’s Theme and The Cross Eyed Indian.
In late 2010/early 2011 Hugo became the label manager of his own sub label to the Black Hole imprint, entitled Rub A Duck, with a strong focus on high powered underground dubstep, glitch hop, electro, breaks and electro house. The acclaimed releases of Rub A Duck didn’t go unnoticed and in a short period of time the label signed acts like The Freestylers, Drumline & Bassline Smith, Wetdog, Relay & Front, Piyush Bhatnagar, Franky Nuts, Hectic, Jagged HedZ and many others. Famous artists like Cookie Monsta, Ed Rush & Optical, Damn You Mongolians and Datsik all remixed several singles for the imprint and other heavyweights like John B, Dub Pistols and Steve Oaki made it clear that they supported the releases.
Halfway through the Rub A Duck startup, Hugo also took up the baton as label manager of Wildlife, the known Black Hole sub label for club and house releases.
01 Michael Jackson - I Wanna Be Where You Are
My all time favorite pop artist is Michael Jackson, since I was just a young kid growing up I use to imitate him (including moonwalk) and listen to his songs all day long.
I was happy to visit two concerts (first one when I was only 11) and to this date I listen to at least one Michael Jackson song every week.
02 King Curtis - Memphis Soul Stew
Besides Michael Jackson I was listening to my dad's records and he was a fan of soul and funk music.
Besides the usual suspects like James Brown, Marvin Gaye and many others this song has been one of my favorite since it's just cool to listen how the arrangements of the song build up along with the vocals of King Curtis.
His arrangement is still current, even for dance tracks.
03 Bob James - Take Me To The Mardi Gras
In my teens I was a huge hip hop head, I even MC-ed, DJ-ed, painted and was a lousy breakdancer.
One of the biggest influences in hip hop is Bob James, this song is sampled over 160 times, one of the most well known songs is Run DMC's Peter Piper. A great musician and a great song.
04 Mad Skillz - The Nod Factor
One of the most underrated mc's of hip hop to me is Mad Skillz.
Nowadays just Skillz he's the MC of Jazzy Jeff (best dj ever!) and he made a huge album in 1996 (From Where???).
I really related to this dude since us as a hip hop crew weren't from Amsterdam or Rotterdam but from the small city of Breda. The original: Johnny Guitar Watson - Superman Lover.
05 Armand van Helden - You Don't Know Me
When I first discovered dance music it was Armand van Helden's You Don't Know Me.
This song appealed to me since it had the sample use I knew from hip hop but with such strong lyrics and great voice (Duane Harden). Armand van Helden had huge hits around that time, not only You Don't Know Me but also his remix for Professional Widow by Tori Amos and the Funk Phenomena. Please also check his Sampleslaya: Enter The Meat Market album!
And he lived in The Netherlands! Also check the original: Carrie Lucas - Dance With Me.
06 Liquid - Sweet Harmony
Soon after house, I discover breakbeats and especially the labels Suburban Base and XL Recordings.
XL was mainly known for releasing Prodigy tracks, but one of their biggest releases was Sweet Harmony by Liquid.
A cool acid piano and breaks led into the upcoming of gabber and drum'n'bass / jungle.
Unfortunately sampled to many times in new school tunes; I prefer the original.
07 Jaimy & Kenny D - Caught Me Running (Dj Tiësto's Summerbreeze Remix)
I worked at Spock Breda, not only as a dj but also serving drinks so luckily I've seen the career of Tiësto exploding.
The legendary parties in Melkweg, Wildlife were great and the nights were a mix of house, progressive and trance.
One of the biggest tracks from that time and one of the first tunes Black Hole Recordings released on their Wildlife label was Jaimy & Kenny D's Caught Me Running (Dj Tiësto Summerbreeze Remix).
Summerbreeze for me is still one of Tiësto's best compilation since it had groove, soul but also that early melodic trance feel to it.
08 Snoop Dogg & Dr. Dre - Deep Cover
One of the best hip hop performers I've seen (believe me, I've seen many) is Snoop Dogg.
I think I've seen him around ten times performing and he is always up to par and super professional.
One of his early tracks was for a movie and has that original gangster rap vibe to it.
With one of the best producers Dr. Dre this is pure win!
09 Sublime - What I Got
One of the bands I like to listen to when I design is Sublime. Their punky mix of rock, hip hop and reggae really gets me in a good mood. The singer died at a young age unfortunately but his music lives on!
10 Motörhead - Overkill (Live)
I am a huge fan of Motörhead and me and my best friends go see them literally ever year. We even travel to other countries to see Lemmy and his guys. I was lucky to meet this legend once and he's a great guy, his is the god of rock 'n' roll, not Mick Jagger or any of these other fools. This live version expresses exactly what a Motörhead concert feels like, heavy bass, screaming guitars and huge energy.
11 Pennywise - Bro Hymn
When it comes to drinking, this song is a song you just need to sing out loud when you've taken some beers. Especially in the pub or in your local football stadium when you support your football team (football guys, it's not called soccer).
12 Los Lobos - Good Morning Aztlan
Every ending is a new beginning. This is for me one of the biggest honest rock 'n' roll songs ever made by one of the best bands around there. Amazing lyrics!
13 Chase & Status feat. Delilah - Time
Back to dance music!
When it comes to taking dance music to another level you cannot deny the rise of Chase & Status.
They've set a standard for modern dance music and they have an immense live performance. Their latest album must be one of the best of the last 5 years crossing over styles without selling out.
Time features the extremely talented and beautiful Delilah and is just a huge breakbeat tune.
14 Jessie Ware - Running (Disclosure Remix)
My favorite track of this year is definitely Jessie Ware - Running (Disclosure Remix).
This song has the feel of the early UK garage that I loved so much with great vocals and superb production. A deep "housey" feel and lovely beats.
15 Nero - Reaching Out
Besides Chase & Status I guess Nero also shocked the world with their album last year. Great samples and a cool 80's look and feel to their sound, artwork and music videos makes this album and singles complete.
Absolute winner!! Also check the original of this song : Daryll Hall & John Oates - Out Of Touch.
16 Relay & Front - Farewell Letter
One of the highlights on the Rub A Duck label I run for me is definitely Relay & Front's Farewell Letter.
Superb liquid drum 'n bass with a emotional break that reminds you of Chris Rea's guitar for me is the ideal mix for a topnotch release.
Also listen to some of my personal playlists:
Autumn and Winter Songs
Rock Till You Drop!